Duke Nukem Forever: retro references



Though Duke Nukem Forever (2011) has received some mixed reviews, I actually liked the game... a lot (despite the annoying loading times - the biggest flaw of the game). I think the best about the game is how it doesn't take itself seriously (Duke even makes fun of the the fact it took so long to finish the game), but even more did I like the references to the former game (Duke Nukem 3D, 1996) and to other video games and cultural elements in general. There are lot of references in the game, much more than I can mention here, but I'll point out some of the most obvious.

Of course, the boss in the football arena, some kind of huge monster, is the most obvious reference to the original Duke Nukem 3D, in which he could also be found as boss of the third chapter. Despite Duke has to use his fists in Forever, the monster is a lot easier to beat than the one in Duke Nukem 3D...


Duke Nukem 3D / Forever Football Arena Boss



Another smart reference in Duke Nukem Forever refers to three games at the same time: in the original Duke Nukem 3D there was a hidden deceased space marine from the classic FPS Doom (1993). When Duke found it, he'd proclaim: "Hmm, that's one 'Doomed' Space Marine!". In Duke Nukem Forever you can find (a secret) "One Dead Space Marine" from the game Dead Space (2008)! Nice how this refers to the original game, as well as to Doom and Dead Space all together.


Doomed Space Marine (Duke 3D) / Dead Space Marine! (Duke Forever)



Another game the Duke likes to make fun of is Halo (2001). When he finds Halo Power Armor he doesn't want it and remarks: "Power Armor is For P**sies!!!"


Duke Nukem: "Power Armor is For P**sies!!!"



Besides references to Duke Nukem 3D and other video games, Duke Nukem Forever also refers to other cultural phenomenons, such as movies. The most striking is the reference to the movie "Team America: World Police" by the creators of South Park. In that movie there's an over-the-top team song with as chorus "America - F**k yeah!". When Duke's commanding General says: "America is counting on you", Duke replies (with the same rhythm as the movie song): "America - F**k yeah!".


Duke Nukem Forever honours Team America: World Police movie song



Furthermore, when you play Duke Nukem Forever don't forget to look at all the posters on the walls. Most are pretty funny - they show Duke Nukem as movie star, award-winnig musical star and so on. However, many posters (especially at the beginning of the game) also have pictures of the original Duke Nukem platformgame (1991 for DOS).


Watch for original 1991s Duke Nukem-posters in Duke Nukem Forever



So, whenever you liked Duke Nukem Forever or not, the game pays a nice homage to video games of the past.